EARLY in 2016 I made the decision to dedicate 12 weeks of my life to getting as fit as I possibly could and in April I embarked on The Amazing 12 program run by Claude Abrams at Core Results by Intelligent Strength, Chichester.
For three months I trained five days per week, sometimes twice a day, adopted a strict eating regime and, under Claude’s careful guidance, built my body into the kind of machine that I’d previously only thought possible of elite athletes.
The incredible results that the Amazing 12 gets from regular people like me is now getting noticed all over the world and, yes, amazing is the only word for it.
But for me, it was what happened afterwards that I’m truly grateful for because the Amazing 12 gave me so much more than muscle.
Before A12 I was grieving. I’d recently lost my dad and felt adrift without him. He was my rock, my safe place and my moral compass. I never made a big decision without consulting him. Without him there, suddenly I was the grown up and it scared the bejesus out of me.
I have always been a worrier. I hate admitting that because it’s the thing I dislike most about myself. I am strong-willed and forthright and don’t mess about, but I worry underneath. I get anxious and fret. My dad used to be my safety net… he’d catch all my worries.
In the past, I’ve primarily used one method to deal with worry – avoidance. I found my comfort zones and stuck to them. I think a lot of people do this, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. We tend to stick to what we know even when it isn’t working.
To undertake my A12 training, I had to completely and utterly trust someone else with my health and fitness. That was a tough one for starters (because, like most worriers, I try to minimise anxiety by retaining control). I then had to unlearn pretty much everything I’d ever learnt about how to how to eat and train.
So 25 years of mental conditioning needed to go. Basically my comfort zones were a dot on the horizon.
To say the A12 tested my metal is the mother of all understatements. I worried, I doubted, I questioned, I stressed and, for good measure, I worried some more.
But after all that, I stepped up to the bar and lifted the damn weight.
Did the worry go away? No, most of the time I was terrified! But I did it anyway. And that’s the single most important thing I learned: that you can be afraid and do it anyway.
You don’t need to be confident in order to try: you grow confident by trying.
I have spent a large chunk of my adult life resisting change but in the months following the completion of my A12 program, I have changed my job, put my house on the market and cut my hair (this may not seem radical but I’ve been growing it for over a decade. Believe me, it’s BIG!)
I have been able to do all this because the A12 taught me that the things that scare me the most are usually the things most worth doing.
To complete the A12 I had to embrace change, put aside my doubts and push myself through a multitude of fears.
The Amazing 12 challenged my perceived limitations on every level and as a result I am braver, freer and stronger, inside as well as out.
Although I am proud of my physical achievements, that is the real A12 legacy for me. I know I can change and I know I can handle it and that feels good.
Before A12 I would say that I ‘don’t do change’ because I never felt ready. It took a 100kg deadlift to make me realise I’m as ready as I’ll ever be! I think my dad would be proud.
*If you would like to become an Amazing 12 Chichester graduate, discover your super-human qualities like Sue and experience the transformative benefits of this program, the next wave begins on January 9, 2017. For more information and/or to apply, send an email to Claude@Intelligentstrength.co.uk